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SECURITY| ROXANNE DEMAKIS | 9/8/2020

How To Protect Yourself From Various Types Of Phishing Attack

Your MUST Do Guide To Avoid It

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which a fraudster masquerades as an organization in an attempt to gather sensitive information such as login info or credit card credentials. Phishing attacks are hence used for stealing credentials. It is one of the most common types of email attacks. 

The sender usually tricks the recipient by sending a legitimate-looking email. The users think they are typing the information on the official website while actually, they are typing it on the attacker’s phishing site. 

Everything the user types is then received by the attacker. This is how Phishing works. 

When a recipient falls for this trick and all his credentials are collected by the attacker, the recipient is said to be phished. 

 

 Types Of Phishing Attacks  

There are various types of Phishing attacks where spearphishing and vishing are the most common. Spear phishing vs vishing is explained below: 

Normally, phishing emails are sent to hundreds of users at once but in spear phishing, an individual target is selected. 

The fraudster will send you an ostensible mail from a known sender to trick you into believing that you know him and hence reveal all the information. 

In Vishing, on the other hand, the fraudster will call you or send you a voice message purporting to be from a reputable company to trick you. 

Whaling phishing is another type of Phishing but it is specific for high-level employees such as CEOs. 

These are the types of Phishing attacks that target particular individuals. 

 

Tailgating 

Another type of engineering attack is tailgating. It causes a physical security breach by an unauthorized person. This type of attack is unlike any of the phishing techniques. 

Another phishing technique can be the drive-by phishing technique in which malicious programs are downloaded in your system, without your consent. These are also spread via emails. 

Another type of hacking may be ransomware. 

It is a malware that blocks users from their system and data. Ransomware allows the hacker to collect ransoms in exchange for their system to be unblocked. 

 

Corona Virus Phishing 

Amidst the Corona Virus outbreak, hackers are taking advantage of the situation and are sending fraudulent emails and texts to users around the world asking for donations. 

It has also been put into notice by the WHO (World Health Organization) and people are advised to not fall for it. 

 

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing? 

 

How to stop phishing emails 

One can very easily stop receiving phishing emails and spam by using a good email gateway. If the email contains anything malicious it will be removed by the gateway. 

 

Is there a way to identify if an email is spam? 

 

There are various ways to identify spam emails. Some are : 

    • Antiviruses: they prevent malicious content from entering your system 
    • Not opening emails from unknown addresses 
    • Avoiding unfamiliar or suspicious links 

All these are points of email safety and can help you identify spam emails. 

 

What if you’ve clicked on a phishing link? 

 

If you clicked on a spam link, do the following : 

    • Change your passwords 
    • Disconnect your device from the internet 
    • Backup your files 
    • Scan for viruses and malware 

Though one cannot tell when he/she might fall victim to phishing, it is always advisable to take the necessary precautions to avoid a very unwanted and difficult situation which may include loss of finances and property. 

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